Colocation brings data centers close to the edge
Closer, faster, greener. Those three factors play a significant role in delivering a better end-user experience and cost savings when it comes to edge data centers.
Closer means smoother content delivery and the ability to generate real-time analysis and results because of lower latency. For gamers, lower ping times and less game lag mean not having to accept its “game over” prematurely. More critically, real-time processes that absolutely have to be in real-time, like air traffic control, can be achieved without data collection, transfer, and processing delays.
Aside from lower latency, having an edge data center for colo can help cut the cost of high-volume data transmission. The data doesn’t have to travel far, and paying for its facility and services is much cheaper than having your own data center. In addition, many companies now need to get closer to their customers in Northern and Eastern Europe, with Russia, the Balkans, Iceland, and the Nordic countries.
For example, if the majority of a US company’s European users don’t live near the “core” FLAP locations (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris), how does the company give all its users the best experiences possible?
“We […] see companies with headquarters in the US, that have established themselves maybe in the UK, Frankfurt or Amsterdam, now need to get closer to their customers in Northern and Eastern Europe, with Russia, etc. So, there is a strong movement in that direction, too,” said Håkan Björklund, CEO of Conapto, in a recent interview with DCD on the current colo trends for Tier II cloud and software providers.
Conapto is a Swedish data center operator with two colo data centers in Stockholm. The Stockholm North is a 3,400m² facility with a capacity of 6MW, while the Stockholm South has a space of 2,100m² and a 4MW capacity. Both meet and are compliant with the strict data center physical security requirements with the Swedish standard of Protection class 3 and the European standard of EN-1627 Resistant Class 4.
“Onsite cloud data centers will become crucial as companies will require critical data to be kept in-house or at a nearby location, thereby lessening the security risks such as data theft,” said Manoj Shankar, Research Analyst, Energy & Environment Practice at Frost & Sullivan which recently projected investment in data center market to be $432.14 billion by 2025, an increase from $244.74 billion in 2019.
Third-party colo can be more cost-effective by using energy efficiencies unavailable in the “traditional” FLAP locations. For example, data centers in Stockholm take advantage of the country’s chilly climate to cool their facilities in a very energy-efficient way, resulting in low PUE (power usage effectiveness) values. Conapto’s data centers use 100% renewable energy. As a result, they have a PUE of 1.25 and 1.3 – close to the perfect PUE of 1.0 where the IT equipment and processing utilize all energy, with nothing wasted on cooling.
The Swedish capital also has transformational ecological power-saving initiatives. There is, for example, a heat recovery system which puts the excessive heat generated by data centers into the district heating system to warm up its residents. In addition, the city aims to heat 10% of all urban facilities with the waste heat from data centers by 2035, making it an attractive location for those who value or prioritize sustainability.
“Sustainability matters have historically been a challenge for us within IT as it’s been difficult to achieve any major improvement in our own data centers,” said Ola Andreasson, head of the infrastructure at ICA, the leading grocery retailer in Sweden with around 1,300 stores around the country.
“With this move into climate-neutral data centers, we can see what savings and decreases which are contributing to ICA’s overall sustainability goals. That has been a very positive and appreciated gain from this project.” The company estimated that it saves 50% per year by transferring to Conapto. It also expects to decrease its greenhouse emissions by approximately 116 tCO₂ every year — equivalent to the emissions of 1,084 flights from Stockholm to Gothenburg.
Recently, another factor is emerging in importance when considering a colo – unlimited flexibility without lock-ins on extended agreements. This reflects a world increasingly consuming more data on demand, making a rigid business model insufficient to keep up with the pace of the customers’ needs. Conapto serves this kind of flexibility with full transparency, no notice periods, and complete freedom. It is a game-changing move that proves beneficial for Softronic, a leading IT service management company that was the first to apply the new business model when it was introduced.
“With these new agreement terms, we can start offering our customers the flexibility and transparency that they require. In addition, it will give us better chances to deliver tailor-made solutions for each of our customers, based on what they need,” said Claes Brikell, sales manager at Softronic, which also gained more opportunities to develop their customer offering. From providing SaaS (Software as a Service) to direct access to the public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, through Conapto CloudHub, the adaptable agreement gives the company more room to grow with modern needs and demands.
“This is in line with how we package our value proposition. Full flexibility, transparent terms, and no lock-ins which allow our customers to scale up or down on the day,” Brikell said. “In addition to that, we appreciate sustainable, secure services and Swedish-speaking support. Conapto can now offer us all that we need.”
Considering edge data center colocation involves examining the overall intention and potential outcomes. The ebook “Deliver better experiences with Edge Data Center Colocation” offers a guide on what to look for before deploying a colo solution at the edge.
To find out how Conapto delivers scalable, secure, and sustainable data center colocation facilities, click here.
1 February 2023
31 January 2023